Molly Oldham gets national attention in her cancer journey

by Alex Houser Vukoder

In honor of brain cancer awareness month, two-time brain cancer survivor, 19-year-old Molly Oldham, and her mother Bunny were featured guests on ABC’s “The View.” Viewers got a peek into what Oldham and her family have been going through. Her nurses talked about how she encouraged them to live every moment and her inspiring story moved hosts Meghan McCain and Sara Haines to tears.

Oldham has been through so much in the two years since her diagnosis shortly after graduating from Revere High School. She has had two complicated brain surgeries, 50 sessions of radiation, intense chemotherapy and months of intensive physical therapy. Through it all, Oldham has leaned on her family and her love of music and theater to help her stay positive.

“When you go through hard times you just need to know that it’s okay. And when it’s not okay, it soon will be okay. Pain is temporary but if you quit, that lasts forever,” Oldham said.

Oldham is glad that she could share her story on national TV, especially after reading the comments on social media.

“Seeing that people can relate to my story means so much to me. We need to do better for all families fighting cancer or chronic illness. We need to talk about it. We need to help each other. Kindness matters,” said Oldham.

Molly has had two brain surgeries since her cancer diagnosis two years ago. Photo submitted

While Oldham was on The View, host Whoopi Goldberg shared two special surprises with her. The first was a video message from Ben Platt, star of the Broadway musical “Dear Evan Hansen,” inviting her to attend the premiere of the movie adaptation with a guest. This is especially meaningful to Oldham as an hour after her first brain surgery she was singing Ben Platt’s “Ease Your Mind.”

For the second surprise, Dominick Amendum, head of the musical theater program at the University of North Carolina-Greensboro presented her with a full scholarship for her remaining two years of college. Oldham is enrolled in their highly selective musical theater program and has continued to take college classes throughout her most recent battle.

After taping the segment, the first thing Oldham did was invite her sister Lilly to attend the Dear Evan Hansen premiere with her. Her mother Bunny said this was one of her favorite parts of the day. “When there is a spotlight on the cancer patient, that spotlight also casts a dark shadow on the siblings. They are going through it too. Never forget that,” she said.

From the very beginning, Oldham has used her experience and voice to help others through organizations such as Stewart’s Caring Place, Cancer for College, Cancer Can Rock and The Four Leaf Clover Foundation of Akron where she was named as the 2021 Adopted Fighter for their fifth annual run. 

Oldham is very honest when sharing her personal experiences, even the unpleasant ones. In a social media post in honor of National Cancer Survivors Day, she described her experience with cancer as a constant uphill battle with fear, hair loss, weight fluctuations, testing, blood work, doctors’ appointments, medications, anxiety, pain, frustration and missing out.

She explained why she is so open saying, “Because uncomfortableness leads to education, which leads to funding, which leads to a cure.”

Watch her 10-minute TV segment by going to The View’s YouTube channel and searching Molly Oldham. More about her ongoing journey can be found on the Helping Out the Mighty Molly page at ∞